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Friends, food and rum (10 photos)

The Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site, the subject of this week’s SooToday Midweek Mugging, is experiencing its busiest month of the year; first ever rum tasting event this Saturday

The Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site, always a favourite for tourists and locals year-round, is currently enjoying its traditionally busiest month of the year.

“Tonight’s a bus tour, and another bus tour coming in Thursday, and we’ve had visitors from three cruise ships this week,” said an enthusiastic Kathy Fisher, Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site curator, speaking to SooToday Tuesday as we presented complimentary SooToday coffee mugs to site staff.

“This site is important not just to me, but to anyone who visits, locals or tourists, because it marks the first major European influence on Sault Ste. Marie...I think what we do here, preserving  that historical importance to the community, and the events we hold here bring about those stories out for people to enjoy and participate in,” Kathy said.

A familiar Sault landmark, the site includes the Heritage Discovery Centre, which opened in July 2014 with exhibits, interactive features and a gift shop, along with two of the oldest stone buildings north of Toronto, the Ermatinger Old Stone House and the Clergue Blockhouse.

The Ermatinger Old Stone House is a glimpse into the life of fur trader Charles Oakes Ermatinger and other residents and visitors to the house in the 19th century.

The Clergue Blockhouse was relocated to the site in 1996.

It was the home of industrialist Francis Clergue from 1894 to 1908.

Three upcoming events at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site, one of the Sault’s most historic spots, are being billed collectively as ‘history experienced through friends, food and drink.’

There is limited seating available for the Blueberry Festival’s Tea and Desserts event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday Aug. 17 in the site’s summer kitchen.

Admission is $12.

As reported earlier by SooToday, dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Saturday Aug. 18 on the site’s front lawn for Dine with the Spirits, accompanied by musket demonstrations (possibly a cannon too, Kathy said), followed by, for the first time ever at the site, rum tasting at 6 p.m., with guests then transported no later than 9 p.m. by coach bus to the annual Ghost Walk on the grounds of the Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site.

Guests will be brought back by coach to the Ermatinger-Clergue site from St. Joseph Island at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

“There are lots of storytellers, it’s dark with lanterns (at the Ghost Walk), they’re led from ghost to ghost,” Kathy chuckled.

Tickets for the dinner, rum tasting and Ghost Walk are $100.

Sunday Aug. 19 will see a blueberry breakfast held at the Ermatinger-Clergue site’s summer kitchen (limited seating), running from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults and seniors, $8 for children.

“The cook will need a pick me up (to get through those three events),” Kathy smiled.

For more information on these events at the Ermatinger-Clergue site, and information on the site in general, call (705) 759-5443, visit the City of Sault Ste. Marie website for a full list of events at the site, or check out the site’s Facebook page